Term Topic Proposal Assignment

Biology 466 Koning

In this assignment you will register the topic you have identified as your course content for the semester of work in senior seminar. You are writing to inform both the instructor and your classmates of your topic choice.


In the previous class meeting and through your homework assignments, you should already have in hand the literature mentioned below, and should have read thoroughly at least the pertinent section(s) of the secondary source. It would improve the quality of your understanding and ability to write if you have at least scanned the abstract of the primary sources as well.

Preparation of Components for this Assignment:

  Assemble a well-focused title for your term topic: what phenomenon, what organism, what experimental variables, etc. are the subject matter covered in your specific topic.

  Write a narrative paragraph telling the reader how your interest in this topic has become apparent to you; this might include a personal story of some kind, perhaps about an event or person kindling your interest in this particular topic.

  Write a sentence, in your own words, with the goal of composing a clear and concise description of the specific focus of your interest area within the topic area.

  Write a paragraph summarizing (NOT plagiarizing!) the major concepts or ideas known about your topic as expressed in the secondary source (the Annual Review chapter) that guided you to the body of scholarship on the topic. Be sure to cite this secondary source properly (Author(s), year).

  Assemble the full reference to the secondary literature source (the Annual Review chapter) in CBE style:

Author, S. R. and J. R. Author. 2008. The title of the article. Ann. Rev. Whatev. V#: pp-pp.

  Revise this summary paragraph to be able to cite 3-5 specific primary literature articles identified by you as most-pertinent from the Annual Review. These will be the seminal articles for the rest of your work in the semester.

  Assemble in CBE style the complete references for each of the primary literature sources you have identified.

Vision, Revision, and Drafting:

Work with the components you have prepared above to assemble one concise document that proposes the specific topic of your interest to your audience and provides a fundamental introduction to its most critical findings insofar as your references and reading allow at present. Do not feel constrained to the sequence of the items listed above! Instead, do feel free to use and to sequence the components you have prepared above to best communicate with your readers.

The proposal should have citations for all pertinent literature within the body of the text and a complete and correct reference list in alphabetical order (by last name of the first author) at the end. The proposal should be in 12-point Times or similar font, double-spaced, and ideally should fit within two pages.

Bring three hard copies of this proposal to the next class meeting for peer review activities: one for you, one for your peer reviewer, and one for the instructor.


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